Causes and management strategies for skin loss in sweetpotatoes (PW21002)
What's it all about?
This investment is developing a comprehensive manual for sweetpotato growers on pre-and post-harvest best practices for reducing skin loss in Australian commercial production systems. This work will contribute to increased profitability and sustainability for Australian sweetpotato growers through quality improvement and innovation in sweetpotato growing systems.
The research team is working closely with growers to collect data on field characteristics, production practices, environmental factors, and post-harvest practices to validate the role of nutrients and identify management and environmental variables that contribute to skin loss.
This investment builds on previous work conducted by researchers in Australia and the USA through the levy-funded project Investigation of skin hardening and splitting disorders in sweetpotatoes (PW18001). Among other outputs, this project recommended further investigation into the possible role of nutrients and confounding environmental variables as an area of future investment in reducing skin loss.
Project activities are underway, the following noteworthy progressions have begun:
- Controlled replicated glasshouse studies are underway in Louisiana. A minimum of three experiments will be run in the first year and the first experiment begun in September.
- Farmer field and pack shed surveys commenced in August 2022.
- A literature review on the available mechanisms of skin formation and strength has commenced and is to be completed with the first year of the project.